A Japanese set himself on fire to protest the funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

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A man set himself on fire Wednesday near the Japanese prime minister’s office in an apparent protest against the government’s decision to hold a state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was murdered on July 8 this year, according to the media.

The man, in his 70s, was unconscious when he was first found, but later told police he deliberately doused himself with oil, the media said. A letter about Abe’s state funeral and the words “I strongly oppose” was found nearby. He was taken to hospital with burns all over his body, while a police officer who tried to put out the flames was also injured. Police refused to confirm the incident, which occurred on what would have been Abe’s 68th birthday.

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Pictured: A Japanese policeman at a location where a man set himself on fire near the prime minister's office on September 21, 2022.

Pictured: A Japanese policeman at a location where a man set himself on fire near the prime minister’s office on September 21, 2022.
(Reuters / TV TOKYO)

The state funeral of Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, is set for September 27, with the participation of about 6,000 people from Japan and abroad.

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Opposition to the event grew due to revelations about the ties of Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party to the controversial Unification Church. The suspect who shot Abe accused him of supporting the church, which he said had bankrupted his mother.